Attorneys in Greece – Lawyers in Athens & Thessaloniki

Buying Property in Greece and Golden Visa

Buying property in Greece is possible for both EU and non-EU nationals. The law does not differentiate between the nationality of the prospective buyer, with some exceptions applicable for border zone areas, in which non-EU buyers may only buy property if they apply-for a special permit from Greek authorities.

The process of buying property in Greece is relatively easy, as long as certain steps are followed under close cooperation with a Greek lawyer.

In the first step, the suitable property can be found either by personal search or through a real-estate agent. Agents’ fees are freely negotiable by law, but a standard market price lies between 2-4% plus VAT.

Once the suitable property has been found and purchase price and payment conditions have been agreed with the seller, the buyer has to hire a lawyer to conduct a title search with the land-registry that is competent for the area the property is located in. At this stage, it is standard practice to pay a small advance to the seller (usually 2-5% of the purchase price), along with concluding a private agreement.

The buyer then has to apply for a Greek tax ID number. It is also advisable to open a bank account with a Greek bank, so that the purchase price may be paid to the seller on the date of conclusion of the contract directly through bank transfer or bank check.

The buyer will only need to file his passport and Greek tax ID with the notary, while the seller has to file several documents for the transaction, i.e.

  • a copy of the seller’s deed and land-registry certificate;
  • a certificate from an engineer that the property has been checked and no building discrepancies have been observed or any such have been legalized;
  • a tax clearance certificate;
  • an energy efficiency certificate of the property;
  • certificate from the tax office that property taxes of the last 5 years before the transaction have been paid and the property has been properly
    declared in the real-estate tax declaration of the seller

Once all documents have been filed to the notary, the parties may set a notarization date. After notarization of the sale deed, a certified copy thereof is filed with the land-registry. Once the deed has been recorded in the registry, the buyer receives full title to the property.

The Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4251/2014) offers the possibility to property buyers from non-EU countries to apply for a residence permit for themselves and their family members, as long as the value of the real-estate exceeds the sum of € 250,000.00.

Such permit is granted by decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration and has a term of five years, subject to renewal. Main condition is that the applicant has personally the full ownership of real estate property in Greece of a value of € 250,000.00. In the case of jointly owned property, worth 250,000 euro, the right of residence is granted only if the owners of the property are spouses with indivisible shares in the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the   joint ownership rate of each joint owner is worth 250,000 euro. Such permit is also awarded to non-Eu nationals that have the full ownership, of real estate property in Greece via a legal entity, whose shares  are fully owned by them; and also to non-EU nationals that have  concluded an agreement for at least  ten years lease of hotel accommodation or  furnished tourist residences in  tourist accommodation complexes, pursuant to the Article 8 par. 2 of the Law 4002/2011, or have concluded  a time sharing agreement pursuant to the provisions of the Law 1652/1986.

In order to be eligible for such permit, the purchase price has to be paid by crossed bank check or by the deposit of bank transfer to the beneficiary’s account which is held in a banking institution of Greece or in a credit institution under the supervision of the Bank of Greece, the specific elements of which should be solemnly stated by the contracting parties before the notary.

Non-EU nationals that are granted the said permit are allowed to lease their property.

Such permit may also be awarded to members of the family of the applicant; such family members are

a) the spouse

b) the lineal descendants of the spouses or either spouse, who are under 21 years old.

c) the lineal ascendants of the spouses.

The applicant has to file the following documents before the authority with his/her application:

  • full copy of the passport, evidencing valid entry to Greece at least once before the application; for such purpose, all passport pages must be provided in certified copy;
  • four passport photos, plus a digital version thereof;
  • copy of the sale deed, along with land-registry certificate;
  • statement by the notary, that the purchase price has been paid as set forth in the law 4251/2014;
  • a health insurance policy with a term of at least one year, covering health expenses in Greece;
  • family-status certificate from the country of origin, if further family members of the property-buyer are applying for the permit;
  • power of attorney to a lawyer, except if the property-buyer is applying in person;